Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Still More Conyers

Michigan’s Rep. John Conyers, possibly wary of spending too much time away from the Capitol with his influential wife, Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers, discussing her theories on presidential impeachment, (“Councilwoman Conyers Skips Vote on Her Own Impeachment Resolution”), has been busy introducing a bill in the House to sue the OPEC countries, forcing them to lower their prices on crude oil. (“House approves anti-OPEC bill” ).

The Democratic House, continuing its impressive record of passing meaningless symbolic legislation, approved the bill 354-72.

From the AP:

"We don't have to stand by and watch OPEC dictate the price of gas," Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers D-Mich., the bill's chief sponsor, declared, reflecting the frustration lawmakers have felt over their inability to address people's worries about high summer fuel costs…. Conyers accused the OPEC engaging in a "price fixing conspiracy" that has "unfairly driven up the price" of crude oil and, in turn gasoline.

His measure would change antitrust laws so that the Justice Department can sue OPEC member countries for price-fixing, and would remove the immunity given a sovereign state against such lawsuits.

Experts testifying at House hearings explained to congressmen that “that crude oil prices have played a relatively minor role in the sharp increase in gasoline costs over the last three months, putting the blame on lower gasoline imports, refinery outages and continuing growth in demand from motorists.”

In addition, there is also the issue of the respect for the sovereignty of foreign oil-producing states, and the possibility that the bill could lead to retaliatory measures and further market disruptions.

“Nevertheless, the House felt it was important to take on OPEC, the major player in oil production.”

The House has a real thing for symbolism these days.

Maybe it isn’t exactly blood for oil. But isn’t war really just legislative diplomacy by other means?

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